Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hunger scale

As promised last week, we're going to take some time this week to review the hunger/fullness scale.

Today, we're going to focus on the hunger side of things.

Many clients come to me a talk about how they are hungry all the time.  They are concerned that if they use hunger to guide them in when to eat, they will gain a TON of weight -- because they are hunger 24/7.

Here's the thing -- a large percentage of those people actually learn they do not understand what physical hunger really is.  They associate the desire to eat with the physical hunger signal when, in fact, they are two very different feelings.

Physical hunger is felt in your stomach.  It's growling, an emptiness, or a hollowness.  If you feel it and don't eat, it will come back more intensely.  Sometimes, I tell my clients "Hunger is like a light switch -- you either are physically hungry or your not.  You are not "kinda" physically hungry. "

This is because hunger is the physical signal our body sends out when it needs more calories to keep going. 

So, for journal purposes, TODAY, pull out that journal and start assessing every time you put something into your mouth:

How hungry are you?

3 Physically HungryThe first sensations of physical hunger but you are in charge and can start planning what you want to eat.

2 Hungry Sense of emptiness or hollowness in stomach

1 Very Hungry
Need to eat is very strong, may be light headed

0 Extremely Hungry Physically sick, nauseous from not eating

If you're not physically hungry -- just make a note of that in your journal.  And remember:

NO JUDGMENT!  You're just experimenting to figure out what you're feeling.  This isn't an exercise in only eating when you're hunger -- just practice assessing what physical sensations you are feeling before you eat.


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